Legislative proposals on digital identity and redesigning the system of personal identity codes will not be considered during this parliamentary session
The remaining parliamentary term is not sufficient for parliamentary committees to consider the proposals, which means that the next government will decide on moving the proposals forward. The new acts were scheduled to enter into force in September 2023.
“Due to Parliament's schedule, there isn't enough time to consider the legislative proposals on digital identity and redesigning the personal identity code system during this parliamentary term. However, there is a broad consensus on the necessity of these reforms, and I hope that the next government will continue to move these proposals forward. These reforms will promote people-oriented digitalisation in Finnish society, make handling day-to-day affairs more convenient and streamline work-related immigration,” says Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero.
Digital identity and redesign of the system of personal identity codes pushed back
The proposal on digital identity is intended to lay the foundation for the introduction of a digital identification application, digital service authenticator for foreign nationals and electronic identification means for natural persons. According to the proposal, the digital identification application will be introduced alongside passports and identity cards and is intended to improve the ability of citizens to manage their own information.
The proposal on redesigning the system of personal identity codes would lay the foundation for introducing a new personal unique identifier and a new remote registration process, make it possible to issue personal identity codes to foreign nationals more quickly and widely, and make personal identity codes gender neutral.
The legislative proposals were submitted to Parliament simultaneously last September, because introducing the digital identification application and digital service authenticator for foreign nationals will require reforms to the personal identity code system.
The Ministry of Finance will next look into how to continue work on these two matters. The goals of the next government programme will be taken into account in this respect, and work will continue accordingly. The questions that have arisen in connection with the consideration of the proposals will also be taken into account.
The lapse of the legislative proposal concerning the personal identity code system will not affect the sufficiency of personal identity codes, which has been secured for years to come through the structural reform of personal identity codes that was approved last year. The structural reform increased the number of available intermediary characters for personal identity codes to be issued in the future. No changes will be made to existing personal identity codes.
Preparation of digital identity to continue in the EU
One of the goals of the legislative proposal on digital identity was also to lay the groundwork for EU digital wallets. The EU is currently amending the eIDAS Regulation, which concerns cross-border electronic identification and electronic trust services. The key change being made is creating legislation for new European wallet applications. The implementation of the amendments to the eIDAS Regulation will require measures from Finland in the future.
According to the EU’s legislative proposal, users of a European wallet application would be able to use the application to prove their identity electronically, provide proof of personal data and certificates, and sign documents electronically. Cross-border pilot projects of wallet applications relating to the eIDAS Regulation are being launched in the EU this year. The pilot projects will affect how European wallet applications will develop in practice and, for example, how they will be used when accessing services.
Valtteri Aaltonen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 530 399, valtteri.aaltonen(at)gov.fi
Jarkko Levasma, Government Chief Information Officer, tel. +358 295 530 117, jarkko.levasma(at)gov.fi
Maarit Huotari, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 530 518, maarit.huotari(at)gov.fi
Press release 15 September 2022: Digital identification application to be introduced next year
Press release 15 September 2022: Redesign of the personal identity code system lays the foundation for development of digital services